Tuesday, July 20th 2021, 8:27 am - Loading the cooler, packing up the car and hitting the road. We wait all year long for the perfect summer getaway!
Many of us are keeping our summer adventures Canadian-based, with cottages and campsites seeing a record number of bookings. So make the most of your time away by packing all the essentials!
In order to help you easily condense that checklist, Rexall pharmacist Rola Barakat has laid out an easy to follow guide.
Unexpected Injury Calls for First Aid
“There are so many things you can add into your first aid kit," says Rola. "First think about wound care."
- Surgical tape
- Alcohol spray / antiseptic wipes
“Another thing you’ll want to consider is having a little COVID kit with your mask, disinfectant wipes, and sanitizers. This will be beneficial in case you want to be around other people.”
Rola adds that it’s also important to have your usual medications on hand. Make sure you bring enough for the entire trip.
Vernon Lake, Muskoka, Ont. (Sabiena Kalatzis/Submitted)
Sun Safety Prevents Painful Burns and Cancers
"Everyone needs sunscreen," says Rola. "Anyone can get skin cancer regardless of their age, gender or race."
What you should look for in sunscreen:
- SPF 30+
- Water resistant formula
- Broadspectrum coverage
"You also need to understand how to reapply sunscreen," cautions Rola. "Follow the instructions on the brand you have purchased and remember to cover the areas that people may miss like feet, ears, and the top of your head. It usually takes about one ounce of sunscreen to cover the full body of an adult. A lip balm with SPF is also important"
Sunscreen can be found in lotions, creams and sprays, adds Rola. While all of them work, it's important to remember that sprays can be deceiving, especially on a windy day. You may think you are fully covered, however after a few hours in the sun, you may find you missed some spots. You should also be cautious when using sprays on children as there is a risk of inhaling the formula.
Keep Bugs Away with Health Canada Approved Products
Bug spray is an important part of any summer getaway, especially in Canada!
“You need to make sure you are using a product that is approved by Health Canada,” explains Rola. “You can recognize a pest control product registered by Health Canada by the Pest Control Products (PCP) number on the label.”
Look for approved personal repellents that contain:
- Approved natural oils like lemon, eucalyptus or pine needle
“When talking about bug spray it's also important to mention sunscreen. You should not be buying products that contain both because, according to the manufacturer's direction, you have to reapply them at different times in order for them to be effective. You first want to apply sunscreen and then bug spray.”
New Allergies May Strike When Exposed to New Regions
Seasonal allergies to pollens and grasses usually peak between May and July. So that means your getaway could be right in the height of the sneezing!
"Going into a new region may also expose you to new allergies," says Rola. "It’s important to talk with your pharmacist so you can prepare with the proper medication."
Another allergy to consider is one to bug bites.
"Most reactions will be non severe and you’ll just need a cold compress or a chamomile lotion to reduce the itchiness. If your bite is more severe you may require medical attention and of course if you usually carry an EpiPen then make sure it's in your first aid kit."
Whether you are roughing it in a tent or enjoying luxury life on the lake, we hope this checklist helps! Remember, Rexall is committed to helping Canadians. Their specialists can assist with any summer health concerns you may have for your family this season.